You're trying to compare Nintendo's digital store to anyone else's?
Okay, when has Nintendo straight up given away games for free?
Out of all the titles on eShop, I can only name two instances of free Wii U games and neither were any good.
Check out prices for games on eShop. Here, I'll fire it up right now. Let's say you wanted to get Rayman Legends on Wii U. If you want to rent it on eShop, it'll run you $39.99. Want to buy it on disc? Used from $19 (cheaper if you're GS Elite Pro), new from $28. for Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, eShop = $29.99 and disc = $9 used, $9 new.
On the plus side, with eShop downloads, you get to supply your own storage medium and the game is tied to one console unless you phone Nintendo.
This is pretty standard. Get soaked on digital or get a nice, portable disc.
Of course, some things go on sale. However, if you compare say, Capcom's digital-only titles to titles with corresponding physical releases, you'll probably find the digital-only ones don't get as cheap on sale.
So, I believe you'd have to agree at least 1% of what I said is true. Sorry about the degree, man.
Sales on physical items are generally to clear out inventory. $2 for Skylanders SuperChargers? That's not happening on digital. Why do digital things go on sale or free? A few different reasons, none of which are inventory-related. They might want to drum up traffic, generate goodwill, highlight some older titles or a particular series, developer, etc. Giving an older title in a series might spur interest in newer ones.
On the other hand, Nintendo itself does something weird. Instead of using old games to sell you new games, a lot of their recent releases feel like they're using new games to sell you old ones. o_o Eg, "Hey, New Super Mario Bros. Wii is garbage. Let's go rent Super Mario Bros. 3 instead."
Well, you updated while I was writing, so...a huge reason why ubisoft or ea would give out free games is to entice people to use their DRM platforms and say, "Gee, it's not that bad." This is similar to how some 3DS games have one or two tiny pieces of free DLC. They have you go through the trouble of setting up an account and then they can hawk things at you.